New manager on mission to unearth talent
EP Cricket appointee brings wealth of experience
A passion for cricket and a keen eye for early talent-spotting are what newly appointed Colin Gxowa hopes will help him take Eastern Province cricket to new heights.
Gxowa took office at EP Cricket in the capacity of cricket services manager in August and hopes to help unearth the next batch of young stars hidden throughout the province.
“Basically the job entails me running the development structures of cricket in the region of EP, together with my team from mini cricket, school cricket, women’s and girls’ cricket, and club cricket – and includes varsity, umpires, scorers and coaching education.
“The [Cricket] Hubs and Regional Performance Centres, which is our township programme, assists kids from disadvantaged areas by providing quality coaching and opportunities,” Gxowa said.
Originally from Johannesburg, where he learnt his craft, Gxowa said it had been early on when he realised he had ambitions of going into the coaching side of the game.
“One played in difficult times and my highest was club cricket,” he said.
“In my early twenties I decided to pursue coaching before I became a full-time administrator in 2009.”
Gxowa said it was important to “get back to basics” and having “right people in the right positions” in order to produce the best possible players in the region, but stressed it “will not be work that can be done overnight”.
“The plan is to grow the game and to run our township programme to the best of its capability and make Eastern Province Cricket among the best in the country with regard to having a quality pipeline programme.
“This also requires a collective effort from our schools, clubs and all stakeholders.
“My first month has been focused on meeting stakeholders and reminding them of their importance in the holistic system,” he said.
Gxowa pointed out the welcome he had received from the “friendly people of PE” and spoke glowingly about the strong cricketing cultures in the province. “The Eastern Cape is known for having the culture of the game. Players like Lutho Sipamla and Sine Qeshile are typical examples of what this province is capable of.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity of unearthing more talent in the province.”
Gxowa credits his falling in love with the game to a former primary school teacher, Zenzele Mabhokhwe, who “instructed a few of us that we must attend practice”.
“After a few sessions I started falling in love with the game – which was very difficult for my dad, who is a soccer man”.
Despite this, Gxowa said, “he loved sport overall, so he supported me ever since”.
He also credits his family for their support in his achievements in the game.
Before his appointment with EP, Gxowa held the same position at the Gauteng Cricket Board from 2012.
He has seen first-hand the discovery and emergence of many young players, some of whom went on to play both national and franchise cricket, while others chose a different sporting code.
“I have had the honour of working with the young Temba Bavuma, Hardus Viljoen, Elton Jantjies [rugby Springbok], and many others who have retired and some who are currently playing cricket at provincial and franchise level.”